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Detroit Pistons are actually kicking the tires on Tracy McGrady

I’ll have to ask Feldman when he gets back from one of his many vacations, but do I win some sort of prize for this?

When I wrote the Tracy McGrady MLE Dreams post a week or so ago, I did it for one reason: I’ve always loved Tracy McGrady. I’m not really convinced he’s a very good player anymore, and I’m even less convinced there’s much room for him on the Pistons with the 23 wing players they already have on the roster. The post was strictly for fun, summer down-time speculation. And if I riled up commenter laser along the way, then so be it.

But then Jonathon Givony, out of the blue, Tweeted that McGrady to the Pistons on a one-year deal was done. That rustled Oakland Press beat writer Dave Pemberton out of his pajamas on a Saturday night, and he got a text from Joe Dumars, who said the team was merely “discussing” a deal.

Did this offseason suddenly get more interesting or what? Let’s pretend they sign him. It could mean one of several things:

• Another move is in the works. McGrady, a veteran superstar, would want minutes. The Pistons don’t have any to give out on the perimeter. I would think they would be considering clearing a spot for him to play if they are considering bringing him on.

• Maybe he’s insurance in case they have concerns about the full-season health of Tayshaun Prince or Rip Hamilton, who both had major injury struggles last season.

• Maybe the team wants to bring in a star to sell tickets, but Dumars is not familiar with any stars post 2003 or so.

• Maybe they’re not convinced that Austin Daye is ready to provide big minutes and/or production. Or, maybe they are bringing in the lanky, finesse perimeter player in McGrady to mentor the lanky, finesse player Daye.

Basically, if it happens, it raises a lot more questions and makes a normally dull part of the offseason more interesting. And it’s nice to find out Dumars is a reader of PistonPowered. My goal has always been to be the first blogger-turned-assistant-general-manager in the NBA.

22 Comments

  • Aug 7, 201010:21 pm
    by Joseph Drouillard

    Reply

    Wow!  I think that bringing in Tracy would be great if he were the player of the past, but he still seems to be very injury prone.   I doubt that this is the correct move for the pistons.

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  • Aug 7, 201010:53 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Not much to lose here so it can’t really be considered the wrong move. Especially if he only signs a one-year deal. The thing that excites me about this rumor is that it increases the likelihood a trade would be made involving Prince and/or Rip. This way Dumars could move Prince without having to worry about who’s going to replace him in the starting lineup.

  • Aug 8, 20105:12 am
    by Scott

    Reply

    this is much better than anything feldman would have written

  • Aug 8, 20107:13 am
    by DoctorDaveT.com

    Reply

    McGrady to the Pistons createstwo  problems.
    Let me set the probabilities first. If McGrady comes to the Pistons, then obviously some swapping must happen.  I recently wrote about the minutes problem at the 1-2-3 positions with Stuckey, Bynum, Prince, Rip, Gordon & Daye. There aren’t going to be enough minutes to keep all of those guys happy. Obviously if you add a McGrady-ego to that, it only makes matters worse. So adding McGrady must mean that someone is on the go – probably Prince and/or Rip.
    From a personnel standpoint, I like that idea. Sorry, Prince & Rip, but the Pistons are rebuilding and you are the most valuable pieces in the blueprint.
    Let’s now reset the backcourt (1-2-3): Bynum, Stuckey, McGrady, Gordon & Daye. From a minutes standpoint, that’s better.
    Now, the problems:
    1. Tracy McGrady is an extremely talented loser. His whole career is proof-positive of that. He’s never had the epiphany required in the NBA: “in order to achieve, I must help make others better.” Even Jordan had that moment. McGrady’s selfishness could infect some of the other players. And if the other players are impressionable younger players….
    2. How many games do you expect out of McGrady? A superstar signing for the vets’ minimum? Doesn’t that tell you all you need to know about what everyone thinks of his minutes this year? OK, McDyess flourished with Arnie Kander; that doesn’t mean everyone is going to. Unless you’re planning on playing the “kids” major minutes, this is a recipe for disaster.
    I hate to say this, but I recognize you can’t win every year. 2010-2011 is not going to be competitive for the Pistons. So actually, I’m kind of OK with this, as long as TMac doesn’t affect/infect team chemistry and the work ethic that JoeD wants to rebuild amongst The Team. This move will give “the kids” a chance to develop with no pressure (low expectations = no pressure).
    But some don’t think like that. Some think you must at least obtain an #8seed every year. And for those, this signing should be a harbinger of doom.

  • Aug 8, 20109:13 am
    by Zeiram

    Reply

    @DoctorDave
    I don´t think Mcgradys problem is selfishness, he is a very good and willing passer. He isn´t a ball hog and can be a valuable playmaker. If you want to find the reason he is/was ” a Loser” look in the other direction. He is the blueprint for LBJ, too willing to pass, not a real leader, gets too easily frustrated if his teammates aren´t up to his standards. Yes he wants to play minutes but that is about it. Worst scenario he becomes pouty and stops to play hard so you have to waive him.
    He is worth the gamble but only if rip or prince get traded, if that isn´t done than you flat out don´t need him.

  • Aug 8, 201011:43 am
    by TDP

    Reply

    Well Patrick, I’m sorry for doubting you and your MLE Dreams.
     

  • Aug 8, 20102:15 pm
    by Pratik Narula

    Reply

    If t-mac is coming..then someone is leaving for sure. I wish we could still do sumthin w/ Chris Paul..and mayb try to attract him w/ t-mac.  But all we can do is be patient rite now.
     

  • Aug 8, 20103:36 pm
    by Josh

    Reply

    Its one thing for the Pistons to investigate T-Mac’s interest in joining the Pistons, but this is clearly a deal that can only occur if the Pistons made a trade.  The Pistons are over loaded at the guard position, and McGrady would only be useful as a stop gap (assuming he can stay healthy).  Disappointing to not hear news about Piston trade rumors, yet this type of story and investigation is making news.  Dumars has to find a way to trade Prince and or Hamilton. http://puremichigansports.com/2010/08/08/detroit-pistons-in-close-to-signing-tracy-mcgrady/

  • Aug 8, 20106:19 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Joseph:
    I don’t think anyone considering signing McGrady thinks they’re getting the player he once was, but if he’s healthy, he’s still a pretty good shooter and a matchup problem because of his length. He’s not an all-star-level talent by any means anymore, but I think he could still score 12-15 ppg and be a solid role player for some team though.

  • Aug 8, 20106:20 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @nuetes:
    Totally agree. There is very little downside to signing him for a one year/minimum deal. At the very least, he’s a tradable contract mid-season if he shows he can still play.

  • Aug 8, 20106:23 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @DoctorDave:
    When McGrady was in his prime, he was on some pretty terrible teams in Orlando. He had to score 30-32 a game for that team to have a shot. Their No. 2 option one year was Mike Miller, the next it was Drew Gooden. Had Grant Hill been healthy at all during that period, we would’ve seen a different McGrady and a much better team.
    In Houston, he had more talent, but was also in a much better conference. When it was healthy, the T-Mac/Yao combo simply wasn’t as good as the other West top teams’ combos.
    He’s never struck me as selfish. He’s struck me as not very mentally tough, and miscast as the franchise player. I think that’s a big difference.

  • Aug 8, 20106:24 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Pratik:
    Wishful thinking. T-Mac is just not the kind of player who can make another superstar say, “Whoa, I want to go play with that guy!” anymore. At best, he’s a fourth or fifth scoring option.

  • Aug 8, 20106:27 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Josh:
    One of my theories is that if they are serious about McGrady, it means they aren’t confident in the health of Prince and/or Hamilton. It’s not necessarily a harbinger of a potential trade. Maybe they think one or both won’t make it through the regular season healthy, and McGrady is a veteran scorer who is insurance in case that happens.
    It could absolutely mean a trade will be discussed at some point, but I wouldn’t say that it definitely means a trade is happening soon. No reason they can’t go to training camp with all of these guys and see who wins jobs in the rotation, then decide what move they want to make.
    Maybe, if nothing else, McGrady’s presence will push Rip and Prince to come in in great shape.

  • Aug 8, 20108:53 pm
    by Travis

    Reply

    I love it, now time to do some trades

  • Aug 8, 201010:36 pm
    by The Rake

    Reply

    This is the WORST news of the Summer. T-Macis a bonfide LOSER!  NOBODY can argue with that FACT.  I like the man enough as a person, as a player he is beyond washed up, and I SUSPECT he is a foul presence on a team (be it locker room or otherwise) based on his infamous losing history.  This move proves Dumars should hang himself for us all, if it doesnt lead to an upgrade elsewhere (which it absolutely will not).  I hate T-Mac, he licks balls and we are loaded at the 2 and 3 spots with nothing but a decent backup 1 and desperately needing size.  This is ATROCIOUS!!!!!!!  Put that shit in the spin cycle…

  • Aug 8, 201010:40 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    The question is NOT why are the Pistons interested in McGrady?  That’s obvious – sells tix, former great, prolly still a tad left in the tank, at the vet min he’s an upgrade over Chucky Atkins, just got turned down by a division rival (Bulls).
     
    The question IS, why is Tracy McGrady interested in the Detroit Pistons?

  • Aug 8, 201011:48 pm
    by Stephen

    Reply

    Actually The Rake,I can argue that he’s a loser.
    From the time McGrady arrived in Orlando he had had 6 winning seasons and 2 losing seasons in seasons he’s played more than 1/2 the games.
    His first 3 Orlando seasons each had the Magic above .500 and in the Playoffs. In the games he didn’t play the Magic were 1-17. In the fiasco of his final season the Magic improved to 2-13 w/out him.(This ignores several games McGrady left early w/injury-or in one case ejected-that saw the Magic lose the lead When McGrady left and went on to lose.)
    His first Houston season saw the team win 52 games,yet lose all 4 McGrady missed.The Rockets went on to lose their first twentysome games w/out him.

    Surround a reasonably healthy McGrady w/3pt shooters and he’ll get you into the Playoffs. At which point McGrady’s teams do lose. I could point out KG’s past history of failing to get past First Rds-or Grant Hill’s-and I could point out how badly his teammates played,or how injuries to starters crippled those teams,but the bottom line is he has not played on a team getting past First Rd.
    A Playoff loser to be sure,but Regular Season,nope.

    (Now whether McGrady is reasonably healthy I have no idea,but I have my doubts.)

  • Aug 9, 201012:57 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    it’s $1.2 million for 1 season. whoopie. man he sure is gonna ruin this 27 win team’s chances. even if all he does is ride the pine – it’s $1.2 million for 1 season! that’s chucky atkins money right there. hmm – chucky atkins or tracy mcgrady? even if this move doesn’t precede a trade there is no risk. what is the worst case scenario here? he complains becomes a bad apple the pistons fall in dissent and wind up with harrison barnes? man sounds like a pretty bad scenario. best case? he plays his part, fills in when needed, maybe facilitates a trade, stays healthy and the pistons make the playoffs. wait – maybe i have those scenarios mixed up…

  • Aug 9, 20108:37 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @The Rake:
    Uh … bi-polar much? This is from the same comment:
    “I like the man enough as a person …”
    Then, just a few lines later:
    “I hate T-Mac, he licks balls.”
    That, my friend, is very well though out analysis. I highly recommend Stephen’s comment to you, where he, you know, actually looks at some data.
    McGrady hasn’t won a playoff series, but he’s been to the playoffs quite a bit. Not sure how leading teams that don’t have much talent to the playoffs makes him a loser.
    And in Houston, they were simply not good enough in very talented Western Conference. First round was about as good as those healthy McGrady/Yao teams could hope for.

  • Aug 9, 201010:49 am
    by Pratik Narula

    Reply

    I say we should sign T-Mac asap! It’s def. a good move, and it provides insurance/and or a useful resource if we were to trade rip or tay. The Pistons owe a lot back to Detroit, after having two of the worst seasons of the decade, they have something to prove. T-mac obviously has a whole lot to prove, there is a chance if John Kuester works w/ him hard, that he regains form and is back to the player he once was, or close to that. But he sure does have a lot to prove, so that’s why I believe it’s a great fit.
    There was an article written when Chris Paul was thought to want out of N.O. I really hope Joe D is still trying to make deals/discussions with N.O., because trading Prince in the deal to acquire Paul, just might work for both teams.
    Detroit gets: Chris Paul, Emeka Okafor.
    N.O gets: Rodney Stuckey (as much as I love him, but he has to go if this wrks out), Tayshaun Prince, Charlie V./ or Jason Maxiell, Austin Daye/ or Dejaun Summers
    New look Pistons:
    1. Chris Paul 2. Richard Hamilton 3. Tracy Mcgrady 4. Emeka Okafor 5. Greg Monroe
    Main Bench: Will Bynum, Ben Gordon, Jonas Jerebko, Ben Wallace, Jason Max/or Charlie which ever stays.
    This gives a mix of young and experienced talent. This team is at least a no. 5 seed in the East. 1. Miami, 2. Boston, 3. Chicago, 4. Orlando, 5. Atlanta/Detroit, we can def. compete, and challenge the best in the east. What do you guys think?

  • Aug 9, 201011:16 am
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Pratik
    Step away from the trade machine my friend. I can’t see the Hornets having any interest in Villanueva’s or Maxiell’s contracts. The Pistons would have to part with more than that. Probably Daye and Stuckey as starting points, possibly Monroe, and several future first round picks.

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